My beloved son*, my so loved Chinito:
I almost cannot write to you because I lack breath. Now I have a little of the strength that I will use in order to send to you some letters that you will know go quite moist and full of love. I am fine, working as always in the same place that you know, with the same people. I am still proud of you, since not everyone gives up so easily being King in order to become a Beggar. In my selfishness as a mother, I prefer the former, but I have to accept your decision, which could not be any different, since your integrity, honesty and values do not permit you to be another, because you were raised under the precepts of José Martí.
I support you in everything while I live, and if I do not come to the end with you, I already leave you entrusted with Ana. But I am going to be optimistic, I am going to think that soon you will be proven innocent of this that they blame you for in order to cover the truth, to try to seal your mouth, which they have not been able to, because your friends do not permit it, nor your family, nor intellectuals with a sense of shame, nor all those who feel the need for justice; your echo transcends limits, I do not know how they can be so crude, because the more they want to drown your voice, the further it goes.
It is not so easy to hide a truth as big as that which you so bravely scream to the universe. They do not realize that your letters are everywhere, the more they box you in, the more they hide you, the stronger your letters and truth emerge. That even when nothing of yours is received, your screams are stronger, your voice is heard more clearly and the world is more interested. In these moments you have more followers than when you were on the La Lima prison farm, because when everyone knew that you were well, although innocent, they were not so worried about you. But now they are lions roaring for your life, for your liberty. So my beloved son. They are more damaged than you are.
Do not worry, suffering is inevitable and necessary in order to become a better person, to understand your fellows, and later you will know how, as you have done until now with your books, to transmit the feelings of our oppressed people.
I love you a lot, as always or more. I am almost with you there, in that cell or barracks, you must hear when I breathe and my heart flutters. And I am your angel, because those books that you do not know how they arrived, they were mine, I’ve always like to read. Now I prefer to read yours.
A very big hug, as on that night, at the edge of the sea, when we said goodbye without knowing if some day we would see each other again, I still feel it, our ties have not weakened, and we are still together, as together as on that dark night on which you let me go, with pain, to liberty.
I love you a lot.
A thousand kisses,
*Editor’s note: This letter was written by Maria to her son Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. We publish it on the blog by express permission of Ángel.
Translated by mlk
11 June 2013